What to look for in a good
her dogs in the home and as part of the family--not strictly outside in
Has dogs who appear happy and healthy, are
excited to meet new people, and don't shy away from
Shows you where the dogs spend most of
their time--an area that is clean and well maintained.
Encourages you to spend time with the
puppy's parents--at a minimum, the pup's mother--when you visit.
Breeds only one or two types of dogs, and
is knowledgeable about what is called "breed standards" (the desired
characteristics of the breed in areas such as size, proportion, coat,
color and temperament).
a strong relationship with a local veterinarian and shows you the
records of veterinary visits for the puppies.
Explains the puppies' medical history and what vaccinations your new
puppy will need.
well versed in the potential genetic problems inherent in the
breed--there are specific genetic concerns for every breed--and
explains to you what those concerns are. The breeder should have
had the puppy's parents tested (and should have the results from the
parents' parents) to ensure they are free of those defects, and she
should be able to provide you with the documentation for all testing
she has done through organizations such as the Orthopedic Foundation
for Animals (OFA).
you guidance on caring and training for your puppy and is available for
your assistance after you take your puppy home.
references of other families who have purchased puppies from
high quality "premium" brand food.
Doesn't always have puppies available but
rather will keep a list of interested people for the next available
competes with her dogs in one or more of the following: hunting, hunt
tests, conformation shows (which judge how closely dogs match their
"breed standard"), obedience trials (which judge how well dogs perform
specific sets of tasks on command), tracking, rally, or agility.
Good breeders will also work with local, state, and national clubs that
specialize in their specific breeds.
multiple visits and wants your entire family to meet the puppy before
you take your puppy home.
you with a written contract and health guarantee and allows plenty of
time for you to read it thoroughly.
The breeder should not require that you use a specific veterinarian.
addition to the above criteria, you'll want a breeder who requires some
things of you, too. A reputable breeder doesn't just sell her puppies
to the first interested buyer!
breeder should require you to:
why you want a dog.
Tell her who in the family will be
responsible for the pup's daily care, who will attend training classes,
where the dog will spend most of her time, and what "rules" have been
decided upon for the puppy for example, will the dog be allowed on
Provide a veterinary reference if you
already have pets or, if you don't have other pets, she should ask
which practices you are considering for your new
Provide proof from your landlord or
condominium board (if you rent or live in a condominium complex) that
you are allowed to have companion animals.
Sign a contract stating that you will
return the dog to the breeder should you be unable to keep the dog at
any point in the dog's life.